Sunday, January 17, 2016

Meeting Deadlines

“Hi, I’m your Writers Vineyard .deadline, nice to meet you. You’re about nine hours past due, which makes you late. You didn’t meet your deadline.

“Congratulations on nearly meeting your goal of ten pages yesterday for your Saturday writing group, but six pages is NOT what you promised. You did not meet your deadline.

“Your next three deadlines have to do with competitions you are judging. How’s that going?
“And last, but not least, what about the twenty pages you’ll be owing to your fiction writers group in three weeks?”

These are not meet and greets I want to be a part of, but I’ve set myself up for all of the above and while discipline has never been my strong suit, neither has failure to meet deadlines. Lately I’ve been enjoying free-floating through my two novels, flying by the seat of my pants in telling the stories. Now the crunch has come. While I’ve carefully plotted out the two novels and I know where they are going, it is the middle of them that always gets me down. How to sustain the story, maintain reader interest while leading them to the hopefully exciting and satisfying conclusions.

And while doing all that, also fulfilling my roles in other areas, such as writing for the Vineyard, reading for the various organizations and making fair judgments on others’ works. I know the blood, sweat and tears that went into the writing of all those novels. Each author deserves a fair reading.

Something’s got to give. I need to make a schedule and stick to it. I need to stop going on-line and scrolling through facebook as if the world would collapse if I didn’t watch every clip, read every essay, and “like” all my friends’ posts. I play word games, telling myself that helps improve my brain and wards off dementia (apparently unproven.)

My friends, readers and fellow writers, what are your methods of maintaining your schedules so you meet your deadlines?

Veronica Helen Hart is the author of seven published novels, and many more sitting in the drawers or files waiting to be dusted off and reconsidered/revised/tossed.


Victoria Roder said...

I swear sometimes I work best when I have that deadline and it is crunch time. My current work in progress of 60,000 words is due at the end of the month. I still have 7,000 words to go. Good thing I do some edits as I write. To keep deadlines, I do have to make lists to keep on target.